Is It The End Of The Annual Appraisal?

Posted on 30/10/2018 by Katherine Memery

This week's blog comes from Helen Kirk-Blythe and Helen Manson, from Complex HR, a unique HR consultancy providing the highest quality, individually tailored solutions and advice to legal practices.  

This image is about as relevant to this post as annual appraisals are to evaluating an employee's performance.  

Annual appraisals are outdated and ineffective.

Appraisals are undertaken once a year without any formal follow up or continuous feedback on objectives and development doesn't happen. 

To all those working in the law, take it from us, it's time to get rid of them.

At ComplexHR, we advocate a system of continuous feedback with clear, evolving KPIs rather than annual appraisals. Continuous feedback ensures effective performance management and builds a culture where high performance is central to the business’ success.

Restricting performance feedback to an annual meeting is both ineffective and counterproductive.

Managers are often required to refer to examples that occurred months in the past and have little relevance or impact on the employees’ current performance. These conversations leave Managers feeling exposed and employees feeling demotivated.   

In other words, annual appraisals hold people accountable for past behaviour at the expense of improving current performance and developing and retaining talent, both of which are critical for a firm’s long-term success. 

Continuous feedback results in timely corrections in behaviours, better employee/supervisor relationships and improved ongoing development.

ComplexHR works with law firms to develop performance evaluation processes that are ongoing, effective and central to the continued success of a business. 

The costs involved in designing and implementing these are not as high as you may think. 

About ComplexHR

Helen and Helen have over 25 years' experience in HR within highly regulated industries including legal and accountancy practices.

They work with clients on matters ranging from performance management, disciplinaries and grievances, through to more complex matters such as TUPE and redundancy programmes. 

In addition, they review existing processes such as promotion, salary reviews and team structures and provide solutions to improve these processes from a commercial perspective.

To learn more, visit


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